I’m anxious to start planting, but at the mercy of the weather. I can’t plant until the soil is dry enough to work. Now it’s still too muddy, thanks to our March snows. So I’m waiting.
I checked our records for the last seven years. Twice during that time I planted in the first week of March. Twice, including last year, I wasn’t able to plant until the second week of April. That’s just the way it goes here. I’m still hoping the ground will dry up enough to let me start soon. But we’ll see. It was in the 20’s much of yesterday, so that doesn’t help.
Once the window of opportunity opens I’m going to be a busy boy. I’ll be planting five gardens as soon as I’m able–peas, spring lettuces, spring brassicas, spring root crops and Irish potatoes. For each of them that means first harrowing with a jitterbug, then roto-tilling, then spreading compost, then roto-tilling again, then shaping the rows. That’s four implement changes, plus a lot of work with a shovel, before I even start putting in seeds.
For some of the crops I’ll make furrows and drop seed. For those with tiny seeds, I’ll crawl or stoop down the rows putting in the seeds. I have an Earthway seeder but I prefer to plant by hand if time permits. The Irish potatoes (excepting the fingerlings) will need to be cut first, then planted and hilled (by hand). Of course a lot of the brassicas and lettuces will go in as transplants, as will this year’s onions. And I have blueberry bushes arriving any day that also will need immediate planting and tending. And everything will need irrigation once planted.
The plan is to plant spinach, two varieties of onions, sugar snap peas, collards, English peas, radishes, komatsuna, Tokyo Bekana, Sugar Ann peas, bok choy, Chinese cabbages (several varieties), mizuna, turnip greens, mustard greens, several types of kale, Maruba Santoh, several types of cabbages, carrots, several types of lettuce, kolhrabi, broccoli, senposai, arugula, Yukina savoy, two types of Swiss chard, beets, collards, and four types of potatoes (plus other things I’ve probably forgotten).
Meanwhile we’re still seeding eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. And I’m not done inoculating oak logs with mushroom spawn. And I still have a few more roosters to process. And there are otters in the pond. And more firewood to cut. And the asparagus will be coming in soon and need weeding. And all the other gardens need to be prepped for cover crops.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so anxious for winter to end.